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Centre extends free grain scheme till March 2022

Under the scheme, Centre is giving a five kg kit of food grains per person per month free of cost to all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

SNS | New Delhi |

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the extension for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, (PMGKAY-Phase V) till March 2022 as part of the Economic Response to Covid-19.

Under the scheme, Centre is giving a five kg kit of food grains per person per month free of cost to all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

The Scheme was started in April 2020 after the outbreak of the pandemic and was extended three times since then. The scheme was to end on 30 November this year. Phase IV of the scheme would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs. 53344.52 Crore.

“The total outgo in terms of food-grains for PMGKAY Phase V is likely to be about 163 LMT,” said a government spokesman while giving details of the Cabinet meeting.

In March last year, Modi Government had announced the distribution of additional free-of-cost food grains (Rice/Wheat) to about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), over and above the regular monthly NFSA foodgrains i.e., regular entitlements of their ration cards.

So far, under the PM-GKAY(phase I to IV) the Department had allocated a total of almost 600 LMT foodgrains to the States/UTs equivalent to about Rs. 2.07 Lakh Crore in food subsidy.

The distribution under PMGKAY-IV is presently ongoing, and as per the reports available from States/UTs so far,  93.8% foodgrains have been lifted and nearly 37.32 LMT (93.9% of July’21), 37.20 LMT (93.6% of Aug’21), 36.87 LMT (92.8% of Sept’21), 35.4 LMT (89% of Oct’21) and 17.9 LMT ( 45% of Nov’21) foodgrains have been distributed to about 74.64 Crore, 74.4 Crore, 73.75 Crore, 70.8 Crore, and 35.8 crore beneficiaries respectively.

Overall, the government will be incurring an expenditure of nearly Rs.2.60 lakh Crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V, the government claimed